As New Japan Pro Wrestling expands its presence around the world, With Spandex is expanding its NJPW coverage! I’m going to be writing regular columns in Brandon’s patented Best and Worst style about NJPW shows now, starting with this week’s Road to the New Beginning.
Pre-Show Notes: You can watch New Japan Pro Wrestling shows on their streaming service, NJPW World, which costs 999 yen (about 9 USD.) They feature a new free match on the site every Monday and have an optional free trial month, so it’s a pretty easy service to test drive. Certain NJPW shows also air on AXS with commentary by Jim Ross and Josh Barnett.
Since there hasn’t been a ton of regular NJPW coverage on With Spandex, I’ll also be providing more background info on the performers and storylines than you get in present-day B&W of WWE or Aces and Ehs of Impact columns. This won’t be New Japan For Beginners, but it is going to be NJPW noob-friendly. We’re also going to be running some articles about the histories of the many FACTIONS (I love factions) in NJPW in the style of my Explaining the Golden Lovers article, so look out for those!
I’m going to be watching the show with English language commentary by Kevin Kelly and Don Callis, and I completely understand why many English-speaking NJPW viewers don’t. However, it seems like I should write about the version of NJPW’s product that’s designed for me to watch. On a related note, I’m an American with no background in Japanese language or culture, so I might miss the mark on some stuff for that reason. I’ll try to be as informed as possible in my takes and admit where I’m culturally in the dark, but if you think there’s something I missed, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments.
Feedback of any kind is appreciated and will help us keep running more NJPW-related pieces. So please comment, share the column on Facebook, retweet it, yell at people on the street about it, whatever. And don’t forget to follow With Spandex on Twitter and like us on Facebook. You can also follow our home site UPROXX, and even follow me on Twitter @emilyofpratt if you want.
Now that the housekeeping’s done, let’s start down that Road to the New Beginning!
Previously on NJPW: Antonio Inoki founded the company and became the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the Great Muta defeated Jushin Thunder Liger in one of the greatest matches of all time, and Bad Luck Fale murdered a therapy cat.